Annapolis, Md. - The Army West Point men's cross country team defeated Navy 24-34 on Saturday to claim the star in the 2018-19 Star Series presented by USAA.
The Black Knights were led by junior Roman Ollar's first place finish. Ollerpaced the field with a time of 23:58.98, the fastest time ever recorded by an Army runner at the Naval Academy course.
Junior Ben Petrella(fourth/24:49.15) and senior MikeySinger (fifth/24:56.14) also posted top-five finishes for the Cadets. Freshman Marshall Beatty (sixth/25:06.03) placed shortly behind his teammates in a strong finish.
Army's 10-point victory is their largest margin of victory over Navy since they defeated their rival 21-37 in 1996.
The win marked only the seventh victory by the Black Knights in Annapolis since 1960. Navy leads the all-time series over Army 48-31-1 since their first meeting in 1937.
Coach's Corner:Head Coach Mike Smith
"Our guys ran very well today. We were the better team going into the meet and we showed that in the race. I am proud of our effort and the discipline with which we ran today. We knew the pace would be aggressive early and we let them run themselves out of the race and just picked them off from behind."
"Roman (Ollar) was dominant today. He is a very patient runner and just shadowed the leaders until he felt like he could take it all the way to the line and won convincingly. There have not been many guys that have run under 24' on this course. So it was a great run for him today. He is a very dangerous front runner for us now."
"Mikey(Singer) and Ben (Petrella) were strong as well. Both of those guys knew what they needed to do and ran hard enough to create some separation from Navy's third runner and held their spots. Great discipline from them. Then there was our plebe, Marshall Beatty, who patiently worked his way through the field and finished as our number four today. He was a monster on the hills and in the back of the course late in the race. We have a lot of weapons out there and finally have both the talent and depth to compete at the highest levels. If we can continue to stay healthy and race with discipline, this can be a very good team."
"Good teams win big races. This was a big race for us and the significance of this win is not lost on me. Last year was a signature win, but this one even tops that. History has not been kind to us in this rivalry. Prior to today, Army had only two back-to-back men's wins in the last 70 years (1960-61, 1993-94) and we had only won in Annapolis five times in my lifetime and I am 51. My guys didn't know that history; they weren't alive the last time we won this meet in back-to-back years. So, what they did today in the context of history is extraordinary. This is the first of several championship meets for us, so we have to put this behind us and look ahead to the conference meet in two weeks."